|• Animal Kosher
Most of the limitations of kosher food relate to the eating of animals. Life is sacred and cannot be taken indiscriminately. Only a few of the myriad forms of life on the planet may be consumed. Hence majority of animals are NEVER kosher such as pork and shellfish. Those that are must be properly slaughtered. Blood may not be consumed, as also some internal organs. Meat will be Kosher only if it comes from the right kind of life form and has been properly processed. Some kinds of milk and cheese may also be forbidden depending on its source.
• Meat and Milk Kosher
While meat and milk may be in of themselves Kosher, once they are combined the resultant mix is totally forbidden. A processed food containing meat or milk will only be Kosher if there are no forbidden combinations.
• Plant Kosher
Although some foods like Fruits and Vegetables are intrinsically kosher always, they could be rendered Non Kosher for a different reason. Fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses grown in the Land of Israel must be tithed properly, otherwise they are not kosher. Most (but not all) restrictions on eating Plant Life pertain only to produce grown in the Land of Israel. Still, there is one way in which fruit and vegetables can be problematic. Jewish law is very serious about not eating insects, which are often plentiful on fresh produce. The inspection procedures for eliminating bugs may be extremely rigorous.
• Social Kosher
As a relatively small group among the many nations of the world, the Israelites have faced the constant invitation to assimilate and loose their unique identity. While very tempting, this would be a betrayal of G-d’s voice. Hence Jewish Law has developed certain practices designed at limiting closeness between Jews and non-Jews. As a result, even if a non-Jew were to prepare an entire Kosher meal, an observant guest would have to decline partaking of this gesture of friendship. It should also be noted that the intent of such laws is not to create disharmony and distrust between neighbors. Peace is also a great value. Therefore such laws usually have some kind of “safety switch” which can be used to circumvent the problem. The important point is not to alienate one’s neighbors, but rather for the Jew to remember his/her unique identity.
• Kosher for Passover
Every year, in the spring, Jews celebrate the holiday of Passover for about a week. During the holiday of Passover, Jews are commanded not to consume leaven. Leaven is any grain derivative that has come in contact with water and expanded. Needless to say, to be Kosher for Passover, a product will be subject to even more restrictions than is usual all year.
There are two accepted ways to kosher your meats (referred to as “kashering”):
• Salting and soaking:
• Broiling over an open flame:
remove the blood from meat by salting, you will need Kosher Salt (found in the baking supplies section of your grocery store) and a metal colander set aside only for this purpose. The instructions are on the box of the Kosher Salt.
An alternate and acceptable means of “koshering” meat is through broiling or barbequing. The meat must first be thoroughly washed to remove all surface blood and then salted slightly on all sides. Those on salt-restricted diets can skip this salting altogether. Broil using a grate that is sufficiently open to allow the blood to drip away from the meat, over an open fire, which draws out the internal blood. When koshering liver, slits must be made in the liver prior to broiling. After broiling, the meat or the liver is rinsed off. Consider before choosing to eat liver that one of the functions of the liver is to filter out toxins in the animal.